Category Archives: Villages

Lydford

Lydford

Lydford is a small village of around 500 people situated right on the western edge of Dartmoor National Park between Tavistock and Okehampton.

It may be small, but it’s a place worth seeking out if you find yourself in this part of the world. It has an interesting history and some lovely scenery nearby, and I’ve never understood why so few people come here.

Along with Barnstaple, Exeter and Halwell in South Devon, Lydford was one of the four principle Devon burghs that Alfred the Great created to defend his kingdom of Wessex against the Danes, and it was from this period that the town became an important coin minting centre.

Silver was the metal of preference for coins at the time and Lydford was fortunate in having a rich supply of the stuff nearby. The mines provided the silver and the ‘Moneyers’ made the coins. These silver coins were known as ‘Lydford Pennies’ and an estimated one and a half million of them were produced: A few of these have found their way into the Castle Inn, but if you happen to come from Scandinavia I wouldn’t mention the fact because most of these coins were whisked away by the Vikings during a late 10th century raid, and you have a far better chance of seeing some in Stockholm than you do in England.

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Buckland-in-the-Moor

Buckland-in-the-Moor

This picturesque village with a population of less than a hundred, lies in a secluded valley under Buckland Beacon, just a few miles north-west of Ashburton.

A drive through the narrow lanes will bring you to a cluster of thatched cottages and an unusual church.

St Peter’s is a simple 12th c church probably built over an earlier Saxon one and still retains some Norman features, but what makes it unusual is the clock which was only installed in 1930.

Commissioned by the owner of the Buckland Estate, William Whitley, the clock was dedicated to his mother, Elizabeth, who had died the previous year.’, but instead of using numerals he replaced them with letters that spell “My Dear Mother”. If you take a closer look at my picture of the clock you’ll see that it was almost A past E when I was here.

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